KOBROUK is interesting going back over fences where he enjoyed success at a decent level in France before joining Nicky Henderson.
He returned from a long break to finish third in a Huntingdon hurdle last month where he travelled like a quality performer. He has to give weight away but looks a fair price.
First Flow has taken well to fences and got off the mark with a bloodless win at Hereford last weekend. This is tougher but he likes testing ground and has more to come.
Espoir De Guye was a convincing winner at Exeter and a 9lb rise in the weights looks fair. He relishes the mud and should improve on just his third chase start.
My Way bounced back from a fall with a solid fourth at Sandown earlier this month. It’s early days and he can improve for Paul Nicholls. He has had a little help from the handicapper which can’t hurt.
Garde La Victoire isn’t the force of old and has been hard to get on the track in recent seasons. Any market support would be telling as he has dropped to a very winnable mark.
PAISLEY PARK is a skinny price but should be much too strong. He won this race 12 months ago before going on to land the Cleeve and Stayers’ Hurdles at Cheltenham.
That’s sparkling form and he showed his wellbeing with a battling success on his comeback at Newbury last time. He was entitled to need that and should be spot-on today. The ground is the only slight concern as he’s not faced anything as testing as this before – but he has won on soft.
The Worlds End will relish these conditions having ploughed through the mud to score at Wetherby last month. He was then seven lengths behind Paisley Park at Newbury so it’s hard to see him turning that around. He looks best of the rest though.
L’Ami Serge has had just one race since winning the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle 18 months ago. It’s asking a lot to win this off a 580-day break but Nicky Henderson will have done plenty of work at home.
Tobefair was second in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham before landing two hot handicaps there. He stays well and could hit the frame on his favourite ground.
MISTER MALARKY ran a cracker when sixth in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last time and his stamina should be a real asset in these conditions.
He landed a Grade 2 here last season over this trip before big efforts at Cheltenham and Aintree. The cheekpieces he wore last time seemed to help and he sports them again. He’s been dropped 2lb despite that good effort and should be right there.
Black Corton continues to cart big weights into the frame and was an excellent third in a Grade 3 here last month. He can reward each-way support yet again.
In-form Venetia Williams has every chance with Yalltari. He has not run since chasing home Mister Malarky here in February and is open to improvement.
Jerrysback was third in the National Hunt Chase at the Festival over four miles so stays all day. He was rusty on comeback at Newbury and is handicapped to go close.
Fellow JP McManus hope Regal Encore is not out of it. He’s quirky and didn’t get going at Newbury last time.
UMBRIGADO ran out of petrol over three miles at Haydock last time on his first run for eight months. He travelled really strongly but simply didn’t get home.
That won’t be an issue today as he’s won both starts over this trip and David Pipe is in top form. This is just his fifth run over hurdles so he is capable of better.
Monsieur Lecoq went well in stronger company at Cheltenham last time after going close in the Greatwood Hurdle. He likes testing ground and his rider takes off a valuable 5lb.
French Crusader shaped well when second in the Listed Gerry Feilden at Newbury last time. He’s lightly raced and looks progressive.
Countister was third in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and needed her return from a break when seventh in the Greatwood. She has plenty to build on.
Irish hope Turnpike Trip was far from disgraced behind Envoi Allen in a Fairyhouse Grade 1 earlier this month. He likes it soft and is open to improvement.
Tamaroc Du Mathan showed promise on his UK debut for Paul Nicholls when second here last month. He can build on that, while stablemate Scaramanga won well at Wincanton and his rider’s claim accounts for half his weight rise.
Quoi De Neuf is another who ran well in the Greatwood and has more to offer off this fair mark.
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THE HOLLOW GINGE loves mud and will relish this test of stamina. He has had just three runs over fences and started with an easy win at a bottomless Worcester.
That saw him thrown straight into a hot Aintree handicap over 3m1f where he came from a mile back to just fail on the line. Forget his last run here, the trip was far too short but he still went well. Six-year-olds have a good record in this race and he has a lot more to offer.
Last year’s winner Daklondike ploughed through the mud and is a fair 6lb higher this time. He struggled in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last time but this is a softer race and he won’t be far away.
Orchardstown Cross didn’t enjoy himself at Ascot last time but won three on the spin before that. He’s shot up the weights but will like the conditions.
Vintage Clouds’ last win came here just over a year ago. He’s off a similar mark and stays well and can be forgiven a poor run over the Grand National fences last time.
Calipso Collonges has dropped to his last winning mark and will be a contender if getting home. He has not won over this far but has placed. Crosspark and Top Wood both stay well but look a little high in the weights.
POETIC RHYTHM is a Grade 1 winner over hurdles and in-form trainer Fergal O’Brien is right to switch him after a couple of poor chase efforts.
He won the prestigious Challow Hurdle in testing ground at Newbury a couple of seasons ago before holding his own in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham. He’s had injury niggles since then but his class can see him home.
Chti Balko got his act together when winning at a muddy Bangor last time. He’s had a 9lb walk up the weights but the ground should be ideal and he was third in this last year.
Captain Moirette has been making a lot of mistakes in chases and looks more of a hurdler. He was third in a decent contest at Wetherby the last time he tackled the smaller obstacles. He has gone well here before and could bounce back.
Romeo Brown took an early tumble here last time and has something to prove in this better company.
Off The Hook struggled on comeback at Ayr but may have needed the run after eight months off. She was third in a Listed race at this meeting 12 months ago and could improve.
1.15 On The Blind Side (nb)
2.25 Paisley Park
3.00 Mister Malarky
11.50 Minella Charmer
12.25 Coole Well
1.00 Deja Vue
2.05 Closing Ceremony
2.40 THE HOLLOW GINGE (NAP)
3.15 Poetic Rhythm
11.45 Katherine Place
12.55 Eevilynn Drew
2.00 Dubai Warrior
3.10 Mistress Nellie
12.00 Starplex (treble)
1.05 Lemon T
1.40 Glittering Love
2.50 Ettila De Sivola
3.20 Let Me Be